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Can you hold gold in an IRA? In this article, we explore the ins and outs of gold investing in IRAs.

Gold can be held within an IRA in various forms as long as it meets IRS (Internal Revenue Service) guidelines.

Gold has been considered a valuable asset for centuries, and many people invest in gold to diversify their investment portfolio and potentially protect against inflation. One frequent question for investors is whether or not it is possible to hold gold in an individual retirement account (IRA).

This article will explore how gold IRA ownership works and discuss the pros and cons of holding gold in an IRA.


Can You Hold Gold in an IRA?

The short answer is yes, you can hold gold in an IRA.

These types of IRAs are typically called gold IRAs (or precious metals IRAs).

But there are certain rules and regulations that you must follow to do so.

can you hold gold in an ira

The first thing to understand is that there are two main types of gold IRAs: Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Traditional IRAs are funded with tax-deductible contributions, and the money in the account grows tax-free until it is withdrawn in retirement.

Companies like Gold Gate Capital offer insightful guidance on choosing between Traditional and Roth gold IRAs based on individual financial goals.

Roth IRAs are funded with after-tax contributions, and the money in the account grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free in individual retirement accounts. Roth gold IRAs are a form of self-directed IRA which allows you to invest in certain alternative assets, including precious metals.

There are many other forms of gold IRAs, including SEP gold IRAs, TSPs, and more - but in this article, we'll assume you are looking at more traditional gold IRAs.

Both traditional and Roth IRAs have rules about the types of investments allowed in the account. In general, SDIRAs can hold a wide range of investments, including stocks, bonds and some alternative investments like precious metals.

However, some restrictions exist on the types of investments allowed in an IRA. For example, IRAs cannot hold collectibles, such as stamps, certain coins or art.

This tends to include any precious metal coin with a face value above spot, such as proof or uncirculated.

precious metals in an ira

Gold bullion and other precious metals in this form, however, are considered investments and can therefore be safely included into an IRA.

Requirements for Holding Gold in an IRA:

Several requirements must be met to hold gold in an IRA. These requirements include:

  1. The Gold must be investment-grade: To be held in an IRA, the gold must meet certain purity and weight requirements. It must be at least 99.5% pure and in the form of coins or bars approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Some examples of approved gold coins include the American Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, and the Austrian Philharmonic. Approved gold bars include those produced by certain manufacturers, such as the Royal Canadian Mint and the Perth Mint.
  2. It must be stored in a secure facility: The metals must be stored in a facility that the IRS approves. This means that your assets will be stored with a custodian or trustee that the IRS approves. The custodian or trustee is responsible for securely storing your physical investments and maintaining proper record-keeping.
  3. The IRA must be set up as a self-directed IRA: To hold gold in an IRA, you must set up a self-directed IRA. A self-directed IRA is a type of IRA that allows the account holder to choose the investments held in the account. As the account holder, this means you are responsible for choosing the specific assets that will go into your gold IRA.

Pros and Cons of Holding Gold in an IRA:

Now that we have a better understanding of the requirements for holding gold in an IRA, let's look at some of the pros and cons of this investment strategy:


  • Diversification: One of the main benefits of holding gold in an IRA is that it can help to diversify your investment portfolio. Gold's performance tends to be uncorrelated to other assets, such as stocks and bonds, so holding it in an IRA can help reduce your portfolio's overall risk.
  • Potential for price appreciation: Gold has historically been a good store of value, and it has the potential to appreciate over time. This means that if the price of gold goes up, you've reaped returns even though gold is sometimes criticized as being non-yield bearing. This can be particularly appealing in times of economic uncertainty, as gold is often seen as a haven asset.
  • Potential protection against inflation: Another potential benefit of holding Gold in an IRA is that it may provide some protection against inflation. Inflation occurs when the cost of goods and services increases over time, which can erode your money's purchasing power. Gold tracks inflation very accurately, which means that it can preserve the purchasing power of your money.


  • Limited liquidity: One potential drawback of holding physical gold in an IRA is that it may not be as liquid as other gold investments. It may be more difficult to sell your IRA-eligible gold quickly or access the money in your self-directed gold IRA account if you need it.
  • Storage fees: Another potential drawback is that you will probably have to pay storage fees to keep your gold in a secure facility. These fees can add up over time and may affect your investment returns.
  • Volatility: Gold prices can be volatile, which means that the value of your investment may fluctuate significantly over time. This can make it more difficult to predict your gold investment's performance and plan for the future.
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How You Can Hold Gold in an IRA? 

Holding gold in an IRA is possible if you follow the rules and regulations set forth by the IRS. 

can you hold gold in an ira

Having gold in a self-directed IRA can provide diversification and potential protection against inflation, but it may also come with limitations on liquidity and the potential for volatility.

About the author 

Sam Rexford

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